Bootheel teacher chosen as President of Missouri's Art Education Association

Friday, April 2, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Caruthersville High School and Southeast Missouri State University art instructor Vicki Bean was recently sworn in as President of the Missouri Art Education Association at an annual convention in Kansas City.

With approximately 1000 educator members representing every level from early childhood to post graduate, museum and retired, the association is the nation's 4th largest state art educator organization.

In her acceptance speech, Bean said, "The MAEA has been a tremendous resource for me as a classroom teacher, and has been an important voice for educators around the state. From working with DESE to develop and implement art curriculum to providing personal and professional resources for classroom teachers, the MAEA has been an essential element of arts education in Missouri for the past 70 plus years."

Bean first began teaching as a substitute teacher in the mid 1990s. Already a successful graphic artist, she entered the classroom full time in 1997, and became a member of the MAEA soon after. Recruited to represent Southeast Missouri as a District Representative, Bean subsequently served the state organization as Secondary Representative, representing high school instructors state wide. This experience gave her the support and encouragement she needed to successfully mount her presidential campaign.

"Advocacy will be a major focus of my presidency," said Bean. "At a time when many schools are facing unprecedented budget challenges, arts are far too often treated as an expendable luxury, and that is short-sighted. As study after study has shown, art education is essential not only for integrating other core classes, but increasing test scores, decreasing disciplinary problems, and increasing attendance. Further, the arts teach valuable job skills and make our students better workers and more valuable employees. I look forward to working with other education and arts organizations to protect art in our schools and raise awareness of art's importance as part of the core curriculum."

In addition to heading the executive council of the association, Bean's duties include serving as Missouri's representative to the National Art Education Association, working with the Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education, and communicating with legislative leaders on issues related to art education. Bean also serves on the advisory boards of the Missouri Advocates for Arts Education, Pemiscot County Vocational-Technical School, and on the board of directors of the Caruthersville Arts Council.

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